Deals for Dummies

So I ventured to Target this evening in hopes of finding another Leap Frog Tag Reading System for Josh and some other stuff and only got half of what was on my list.  I ended up buying 50 items and getting my $112 total down to $22.93!  I used 63 coupons!!  I think that’s a record!  I’d post a picture, but remember, the old laptop is out of service, the new laptop was returned for having a bad CD rom, and now my pc hard drive upstairs is going out too!

Here’s a little of how I work my coupon magic:

Tag Reading System on clearance for $29.99, but rang up $19.98 at check out.  I used a $10 off manufacturer coupon I printed off from their website AND a $5 off Target coupon for a Tag product.  This is called STACKING - when you use a manufacturer coupon + a store coupon for the same item. You can do this at grocery stores too!

Nextcare Bandaids (8 count) were on clearance for 68 cents.  I printed off  a bunch of $1.00 off coupons from their website that didn’t specify a size, so buy the smallest size to save the most amount of money (usually found in the travel/ trial sized section).  But Amanda, your coupon is more than the value of the product. This is called OVERAGE. That extra 22 cents went to pay down something else and make my overall bill lower.  Always make sure you have a FILLER- an item to make up the price difference.  I bought way more stuff than 22 cents worth so my overall total went down so I didn’t worry too much. Note: some stores will adjust down the price of the coupon to match the value of the item if the item is cheaper than the amount on the coupon. 

My total purchase was over $50 so the first coupon I used was a store coupon for $5 off a $50 dollar purchase.  Use these kinds of money off coupons first since your total is at its highest, then use your other coupons.  If you do it in reverse, then your total will be too low and you won’t get that free extra $5.00 off your purchase.  Make the free money work for you!

Here’s a list of what I bought:

Tag Reading System, 2 Aveeno baby washes, 2 Johnson and Johnson Buddy Wash Soap Bars, 3 Johnson and Johnson lotions/ baby washes, 6 paper towel rolls, 3 single toilet papers, 3 deodorants, 8 boxes of Kudos granola bars, 8 boxes of Pop tarts, 2 boxes of Kelloggs Yogos fruit snacks, 8 Nextcare bandaids, 4 packs of Bic pens, 1 box of Kotex pantyliners.

The free stuff I get (usually health and beauty items in the travel sizes) are great for overnight trips and also for storing in my backpack  that’s a 72 hour kit.  If there was ever an emergency I want to grab and go with my shampoo and stuff.  That’s a post for another time. Just think Hurricane Katrina!  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bag to grab that already has your necessities in case you have to flee immediately?

Also, I’m always donating food to people and food drives and things like that.  Buying 8 boxes of Pop Tarts may seem excessive, but when 1 box cost me way less than $1.00 then I don’t feel so bad giving them away.  I also am a proponent of food storage.  There’s nothing more irritating to me than going to my cupboard and being out of an item.  (I did have to run to Smith’s twice last night for this very reason).  So, when things go on sale, I use coupons on top of these sales and stock up!  Think Hurricane Katrina again.  Stranded in your house with help no where close.  If you’ve got some comfort foods and regular everyday foods stocked up, you could easily survive a disaster.  Oh yeah, and non food items are important too!  Let’s not get stuck without toilet paper, diapers, wipes, or trashbags! 

Well there’s some info to let you think about. Any questions?  And just a heads up that Smith’s is having their caselot sales the 2nd week in September, yay!

It’s all Inside

So last month our ward had an Emergency Preparedness Faire to get people informed and motivated to start with their family home storage (food, water, fuel, other supplies).  The lesson: It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark! 

Since I was on the planning committee, not only did I learn that delegating assignments is the only way to go and makes your life easier, but I had a blast with my specific topic of “where to store all that food!”  Disclaimer: I am not an expert at where to store food storage.  When I was a teacher the motto was “beg, borrow, and steal” which I applied while researching this topic- to get pictures, not the actual food!?!  What you’re about to see are ideas I have gathered from all over the place as to where people are storing their surplus. Click and open:

Parade of Homes (if you have PowerPoint) or use this: free PowerPoint Viewer

Food, Glorious Food!

I think I’ve used that title before, but I couldn’t think of any other songs related to food!  We are totally getting excited for food storage at my house- the MREs came via ground shipping today and so we can let the packing 72 hour kit games begin.  These things are awesome!!  1 MRE meal has like 1700 calories so if we pack 3 meals for each person each day, we’re determined to stay alive in a disaster and probably have left over food I think.  Did you know that the real MREs are property of the US government and not available for resale?  The ones we got are the real thing and somehow that little disclaimer wasn’t printed on the them, so the company could really sell them. 

 Well we have a long ways to go to get up to par with this whole idea of food and home storage for 1 year, but I’m feeling a step closer now that we have some MREs that don’t need inspecting until 2010!!!  How awesome is that?  All I got to say is “it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark” so do a little every shopping trip to buy a little extra, or buy a bigger size to help in the goal of attaining 1 year of food.